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UK envoy meets Zillur, Delwar to say goodbye PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

Bdnews24.com

Outgoing British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury Monday met with acting Awami League president Zillur Rahman and BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain.

The High Commissioner had talks on the current state of the country and upcoming national polls with the leaders in separate meetings. "This is a farewell call.

We discussed many things. The current state, concerns and hopes and the forthcoming elections," Choudhury told bdnews24.com after a meeting with Zillur Rahman at his Gulshan home.

Rahman told reporters that he had discussed the Awami League's demand for the release of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina with Choudhury.

"Our first demand is the release of Sheikh Hasina and the second is an end to the state of emergency, the third is an election date and the fourth is price control," Rahman said.

"We raised the demands for the government through the high commissioner and he assured us that he would try to help us in this regard," he said. Rahman however ducked a question on how the British high commissioner would help them in fulfilling the demands.

After a one-hour meeting with Delwar in his NAM apartment, the UK envoy told reporters that he had discussed the national polls, dialogue and human rights situation with the BNP leader.

The High Commissioner said the UK wanted to see a free and peaceful election in Bangladesh with all political parties participating in it.

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's adviser ASM Hannan Shah, joint secretary general Goyeshwar Chandra Roy and acting office secretary Rizvi Ahmed were present. Choudhury said he had visited the BNP leader to "say goodbye".

They had talks on various issues but the election dominated the talks, he said. The high commissioner said he believed a free, fair and peaceful election would be held in Bangladesh by December with the participation of all political parties.

On withdrawal of the state of emergency, Choudhury said the UK hoped the emergency would be lifted before the polls. But the state of emergency has at least to be relaxed if it cannot be lifted completely, he said.

Delwar told reporters that he had talked about the cases against 'political prisoners' with the British envoy. "We told the High Commissioner that the dialogue would have been meaningful if two leaders had been freed to join dialogue.

People of the country would not accept the polls except them. Election fixing may create an unstable situation in the country," he said. Choudhury will leave Dhaka in the third week of May.

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